Pharmacologic Activation of LXR Alters the Expression Profile of Tumor-Associated Macrophages and the Abundance of Regulatory T Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment

JM Carbo, TE Leon, J Font-Diaz, JV De la Rosa, A Castrillo, FR Picard, D Staudenraus, M Huber, L Cedo, JC Escola-Gil, Lucia Campos Carrascosa, L Bakiri, EF Wagner, C Caelles, T Stratmann, JA Van Ginderachter, AF Valledor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Liver X receptors (LXR) are transcription factors from the nuclear receptor family that are activated by oxysterols and synthetic high-affinity agonists. In this study, we assessed the antitumor effects of synthetic LXR agonist TO901317 in a murine model of syngeneic Lewis Lung carcinoma. Treatment with TO901317 inhibited tumor growth in wild-type, but not in LXR-deficient mice, indicating that the antitumor effects of the agonist depends on functional LXR activity in host cells. Pharmacologic activation of the LXR pathway reduced the intratumoral abundance of regulatory T cells (Treg) and the expression of the Treg-attracting chemokine Ccl17 by MHCII high tumor-associated macrophages (TAM). Moreover, gene expression profiling indicated a broad negative impact of the LXR agonist on other mechanisms used by TAM for the maintenance of an immunosuppressive environment. In studies exploring the macrophage response to GM-CSF or IL4, activated LXR repressed IRF4 expression, resulting in subsequent downregulation of IRF4-dependent genes including Ccl17. Taken together, this work reveals the combined actions of the LXR pathway in the control of TAM responses that contribute to the antitumoral effects of pharmacologic LXR activation. Moreover, these data provide new insights for the development of novel therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer. Significance: This study reveals unrecognized roles of LXR in the transcriptional control of the tumor microenvironment and suggests use of a synthetic LXR agonist as a novel therapeutic strategy to stimulate antitumor activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-985
Number of pages18
JournalCancer Research
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021

Research programs

  • EMC OR-01

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